Spotlight: World steps up vigilance against further Zika spread

2016-02-11 09:14:16 | From:

BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- Countries and organizations around the world have announced heightened measures to minimize the threat of the Zika virus and curb its further spread.

The virus is transmitted to humans primarily by aedes aegypti mosquitoes. TheUnited NationsFood and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Tuesday it is implementing targeted measures to reduce mosquito populations.

"A critical measure to combat the spread of the disease is to intensify control of mosquito populations in affected and at-risk areas," said FAO chief Jose Graziano da Silva.

FAO has also developed a set of recommendations on management of insecticides in a joint program with the World Health Organization (WHO).

China on Tuesday confirmed an imported Zika case, the country's first.

The patient, a 34-year-old male, had traveled to Venezuela and showed symptoms of fever, headache and dizziness on Jan. 28, before returning to his hometown on Feb. 5.

Comments by Kipchoge Keino, head of the National Olympic Committee of Kenya (NOCK), on Tuesday added to the confusion caused by Zika when he said Kenya might withdraw from the Rio Olympic Games scheduled for Aug. 5-21 because of the virus.

NOCK later played down the comments, saying it's still early to make any decision as the games are six months away.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday raised the activation level of its Emergency Operations Center to Level 1, its highest state of alert, in response to Zika.

PresidentBarack Obamarequested 1.8 billion U.S. dollars in emergency funding to fight the fast-spreading virus.8 AWhite Housestatement said that as spring and summer approach, the country needs to be fully prepared for the larger and more active mosquito populations the seasons bring, to mitigate and quickly address transmissions within the continentalUnited States, particularly in the southern part of the country.

The United States' southern neighbors are in grave conditions, with Brazil being the most affected country.

The WHO has declared an international health emergency over the virus, citing concern over a possible link with a rise in cases of microcephaly, a birth defect characterized by an abnormally small head.

On the eve of the carnival season, Brazil's health ministry urged pregnant women to stay indoors, wear clothing that covers the limbs despite the high temperatures and use insect repellents.

The state-run Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), one of the leading institutions researching Zika, warned it had detected the presence of the virus in urine and saliva, indicating that it can be transmitted via an exchange of body fluid, for example during sex.


UN agency underscores human, food safety in efforts to combat spread of Zika virus

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on Tuesday said that it could assist countries impacted by the Zika virus with targeted interventions, while ensuring that people and the environment are not exposed to health and other risks stemming from the inappropriate use of potentially dangerous chemicals.

"At least in the short term, a dramatic increase in the use of insecticides to spray mosquito populations or treat waters is likely," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, quoting information from the FAO, the UN agency that leads the international hunger to defeat hunger.Full Story

FAO upping efforts to curb Zika from spreading worldwide: director general

ROME, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said Tuesday that it is mobilizing a coordinated response to Zika aimed at minimizing the threat in affected countries and reducing the risk of further international spread.

"FAO, with its resources and expertise, is ready to do its part in addressing this emergency which continues to evolve," FAO chief Jose Graziano da Silva said in a statement.Full Story

Your Comment


Related News